Ben throwing pie. Dad scared!
Earlier this week I bemoaned how being away from your child on their birthday or a holiday can be tough for divorced parents. While that’s true, I forgot to share another lesson. Even if you have to spend a special day apart, there’s NO reason you can’t celebrate on a different day. Not only can it be just as fun, but in some ways it can be more relaxing since you’re released from the expectations of the actual day.
Case in point: my son’s 14th birthday. Yes, we had to celebrate a couple days later since Ben was at his mom’s, but we still had a real party of it. After watching a sitcom almost a year earlier where the family was throwing pies in each other’s faces, Ben mentioned he’d like to get pieface for his birthday. I think what he really wanted was to throw pie in the face of his family. Nevertheless, I jotted it down on my tickler calendar, and surprised him with pie in the face for his 14th b-day.
As the pictures show, it doesn’t have to be your child’s actual birthday to have a special time and celebrate! Calendars can be great for keeping us on schedule, but don’t ever let them take control and give you a reason to not celebrate a special occasion. So whether you’re divorced parents or your kids are away at camp, go for it … a day, a week, a month later … it doesn’t matter. Become a pie face family like we did, or celebrate in some new, fun way. Whatever it is, just enjoy and have fun!
How do you like to celebrate with your family? Any fun ideas for us to try out? Or share some pictures of you getting pie in the face … come on … it’s fun! Here are a couple more of us.
Ben, my brother John, and I with pie in the face
my sister-in-law Casey and Ben enjoying pieface
Divorce Cakes? Yes some celebrate with a cake. Click on the photo to see more divorce cake art.
I went through a divorce in 2002. Although I never celebrated it with a cake like this when the divorce was final, I was relieved. Custody battle, fathers rights, child support, and divorce laws were the phrases of those two, painful years it took to complete our divorce. It was truly a horrible time in my life. Dads are still second class citizens in family court, and I remember being scared over how our divorce would ultimately be settled. At times that fear would become overwhelming, but then I remembered one thing … I couldn’t be a good parent to my son if I let myself be consumed by those thoughts. So I tried to focus on what I could control … being the best Dad possible. I also surrounded myself with my family, loyal friends, and a great co-parenting coach.
Over seven years later, I’m a very fortunate guy who’s divorce story has a “happy” ending. Much of my worrying was a waste of time. I now get along pretty well with my son’s mom, and we share joint custody of our son. It will never be perfect, but then even married couples have disagreements raising kids. Ben, our 14 year-old son, is a great young man and doing well.
On days like today, however, divorce still sucks. You see, today is Ben’s birthday, and he’s at his mom’s this year. You do adjust to being away from your child on birthdays or holidays, but it will always suck. Over time, I’ve found there is a silver lining. For me, being a divorced parent makes me appreciate the gift of parenting more. When it’s my turn to host the birthday party or have Christmas with my son, I relish it and never take it for granted.
So yes, there is happiness after divorce. Gone are the feelings of bitterness and worry. Are you divorced or divorcing? What has it taught you? Or maybe you have friends or family that have gone through a divorce. Any advice to share?
Going through a divorce is never easy. But it is comforting to know happiness can be found on the other side.